Thousands stranded in worst flood in decades

Ismail Sabri says the govt will provide RM100m for the repair of homes and infrastructure, and RM1,000 to each affected household


THE northeast monsoon that hit several states in the country over the weekend had the government battling another critical wave as the flood crisis left thousands stranded with limited supplies.

The hardest-hit areas in the Klang Valley such as Puchong and Shah Alam were still waiting for the water level to subside as at 4pm yesterday after some neighbourhoods saw their homes nearly diminished by the floods.

However, the people’s ability to come together and help those in need out of their own initiatives were once again highlighted.

Social media platforms saw the affected people’s plea for help coming in droves on Saturday, when the crisis hit its climax after the flood swelled up obstructing major highways such as the Federal Highway and the New Klang Valley Expressway, which led to multiple closures.

Checks on Twitter showed that many were stuck on the road, some for up to 12 hours, while many were also stranded in their own homes or perched on their rooftops after the flood engulfed their entire homes.

According to the Selangor Disaster Management Unit, a total of 14,716 victims from Klang, Petaling, Kuala Langat, Sepang, Kuala Selangor and Hulu Langat were evacuated as at noon yesterday and were placed at temporary shelters.

A total of 350 people living in low-rise areas in Taman Sri Muda, Section 25 Shah Alam, which has mostly single-storey houses were evacuated as of 11am yesterday. Rescue in the area was difficult as the rising water level only allowed entrance by boats.

In Selangor, a coordination centre for volunteers was set up at Majlis Sukan Negeri Selangor in Section 7, Shah Alam, to enable volunteers and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to coordinate rescue operations.

Generasi Muda exco Mohd Khairuddin Othman in a statement yesterday said the purpose of this centre was to coordinate all aids from volunteers and NGOs who wished to assist in flood disaster relief missions.

To facilitate rescue operations, social media users have also created a thread listing organisations that require rescue equipment such as life jackets and boats to assist authorities on evacuation efforts. Besides the equipment, people had also put together a list of initiatives where the public could donate to provide supplies to flood victims such as food, diapers and self-care necessities.

Among the agencies on the list include the Malaysian Relief Agency, the Hope Branch, Muda Selangor and Muda Wilayah, Happy Bank Crew and Hero Rescue.

Several public places have also been transformed into temporary shelters such as mosques near the affected areas and the Raja Tun Uda library in Shah Alam.

Meanwhile, checks by The Malaysian Reserve at Jalan Cheras-Kajang saw about 10 families evacuated from their homes with help from nearby highway users.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Idris Ahmad announced that the government agreed to open the Federal Territories Mosque in Kuala Lumpur and Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque in Putrajaya as flood relief centres, while all mosques in the Federal Territories were asked to prepare basic necessities for flood victims.

“I also have instructed the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council to help the flood victims,” Idris said in a statement yesterday.

Updates on the Public Works Department website at 5pm yesterday showed 92 areas in the peninsula flooded with landslides occurring in 18 areas mainly in Selangor.

Following the floods, Air Selangor also announced that two water treatment plants (LRA) namely LRA Langat 2 in Hulu Langat and LRA Cheras Batu 11 had to stop operations, while LRA Sungai Langat could only operate at 40% from their daily output.

Due to these disruptions, 472 areas in Petaling, Kuala Lumpur and Hulu Langat districts will face water cuts with no timeline on supply resumption.

Meanwhile, the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry ensured that sufficient basic supplies can be easily obtained by consumers during the monsoon period.

It will also ramp up monitoring efforts on the food supply situation nationwide through checks on Dedicated Distributor Manufacturer, Dedicated Distributor Wholesaler and Dedicated Distributor Retailer that have been appointed nationwide.

“This monitoring is to ensure sufficient food supply for consumers especially those in areas that are badly affected by the floods,” said the ministry’s enforcement officer Azman Adam in the statement.

Earlier yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government will provide RM100 million in post-flood allocations for the repair of homes and infrastructure.

The government will also contribute RM1,000 to each household affected by floods, he added.

“In September this year, the government raised compassionate aid to RM1,000 per household and we will expedite the payments to areas affected by the floods such as Selangor and six other states.”

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said his Ministry of Finance (MoF) is in discussions with Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM), Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM) and the Association of Development Financial Institutions (ADFIM) to offer payment assistance programmes for borrowers affected by the floods.

“Further details will be shared by ABM, AIBIM, ADFIM and the banks involved in the near future,” Tengku Zafrul said in a statement yesterday.

On the RM100 million initial allocation for post-flood rehabilitation efforts, he said the federal government will continue to work with the state governments to repair houses and public infrastructure damaged by floods.

The MoF, he said, will accelerate the distribution of RM50 million to National Disaster Management Agency/National Disaster Relief Trust Fund to ensure the continuity of assistance to households affected by floods.

In addition, a total of RM50 million will be provided by the government and government-linked investment companies (GLICs) and government-linked companies (GLCs).

This amount includes a matching grant of RM25 million from the government, while the GLICs/GLCs will jointly allocate RM25 million.

This RM50 million will be activated through GLC/GLIC Disaster Recovery Network to help flood victims.